KOCHI: The Ministry of Environment and Forests on Friday granted environmental and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance to the Kochi Water Metro Project.It is after going through the compliance report submitted by Kochi Metro Rail Ltd that the Centre gave the go ahead for the work on the Water Metro.
“This is a major boost to the much-awaited Water Metro Project. We are committed to protecting the environment and all the construction activities of KMRL will be done as per the norms,” said KMRL managing director Alkesh Kumar Sharma.
While giving the green light, the Centre has asked KMRL not to block creeks or rivers and ensure smooth flow of water in project area. The authorities concerned have been instructed to devise a disaster management plan and frame safety guidelines. “A detailed traffic management plan should be drawn up,” the ministry said in its order.
The KMRL in its project proposal clarified that Water Metro intends to introduce modern, energy-efficient, fast environment-friendly and safe boats with low wake and draft characteristics to increase ridership. The project, includes 15 different routes and 38 stations, covers a total length of 78 km in the Kochi backwaters.
KMRL has already awarded the tender for construction of boats to Cochin Shipyard Ltd. The project’s total outlay is Rs 747.28 cr. KMRL authorities said the vessels of Water Metro will comply with emission norms as prescribed by the government from time to time. The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority had approved the project on February 25, 2019.